Google is changing Hangouts to place peer-to-peer calls when possible. A notification containing the news is now appearing for users when they initiate a call with one of their contacts.
This change reduces the number of hoops your call needs to jump through, ideally improving audio and video quality. For Google, this should reduce pressure on the company's servers.
On the downside, establishing a connection this way reveals both of your IP addresses. This makes it possible to get an approximate idea of your location. For most people, this won't be a problem. Grandma already knows where you live. But if you're conducting an interview and want to keep your location a secret, this is something to look out for.
In cases where Hangouts cannot establish a peer-to-peer connection, the service will continue to use servers as the middleman. Either way, this is a behind-the-scenes change that, if all goes as hoped, you won't have to give any thought to.
- Google Help